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As the weather changes, and cool temps and rain begin to move into New Mexico once again, it’s important to protect your most precious possession—your home. American Restoration Water & Fire recommends some common checks you can do to reduce the risk of expensive repairs to your home.

First, make sure to inspect your roof for leaks. If safe and available, go into your attic with a flashlight and see if you can determine if there have been previous leaks. Some of the signs may be: stained or discolored wood around roof penetrations; discolored wood or insulation in other parts of the roof; stained and sagging insulation; or, the presence of any type of mold-looking residue.

If you see the latter, contact American Restoration Water & Fire immediately—and do not disturb the area. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), molds do not always present a health risk, but people who are sensitives to mold can have extreme reactions.

Second, clean your gutters, downspouts, and canales. In New Mexico, a lot of us deal with canales. Make sure that the tar around the canale is free of cracks and separations. If you do see cracks, take the time to purchase a gallon of simple roofing tar and apply liberally to the cracks.

You will get dirty. This is unavoidable. Purchase a pair of inexpensive rubber gloves, throw on a ragged shirt and jeans, and have at it filling those cracks. Of course, do this safely or hire an experienced contractor who can apply the roofing tar for you. Safety first.

Lastly, make sure that rainwater runs away from your property. To check this, drag a hose up on the roof and position it in the middle of the roof, but near a canale or downspout. When the water exits your roof, watch where the water goes. It should move away from your house. If water pools at your foundation, or moves toward your home, contact an expert to help you with water grading issues

And, if the unavoidable happens and house does flood, contact the IICRC Certified experts at American Water and Fire, LLC at 505-206-5277. If you are in immediate danger, call 911 immediately.